5 Actions To Take As A Couple After Infidelity To Rebuild Your Marriage

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5 Actions To Take After Infidelity To Rebuild Your Marriage

Have you or your partner had an affair, and are now wondering if you can still have a healthy relationship after infidelity?

Many people say "no," that it's just not possible to be happy after a partner has strayed. But it is possible to get past an affair and be happy again.

RELATED: A Step-By-Step Guide To Determine If Your Relationship Has Any Chance Of Surviving Infidelity

Having a healthy relationship after infidelity is something to strive for, but it won’t happen without a lot of hard work and patience from both of you.

Here are 5 actions to take as a couple to rebuild your marriage after cheating has occurred.

1. Resolve to make the relationship work.

Oftentimes after an affair, the partner who strayed is only interested in putting the affair behind them and moving on. But the betrayed partner is often harder to convince and is left with unanswered questions, self-doubt, lack of trust, and serious doubts about the future.

If both partners aren’t resolved to work on recovering their relationship, there is no way it can happen.

I have a client whose partner strayed twice. She feels horribly betrayed, but is willing to work to get their marriage back on track. Her husband simply wants the affair to disappear and for everything to go back to normal.

He says he wants to do the work and is willing to go to therapy, but his heart isn’t really in it. As a result, she's frustrated and even more hurt as she questions the future of her marriage.

So, unless both members are determined to do the work, the chances of having a healthy relationship after infidelity are minimal.

2. Communicate.

Communication in any healthy relationship is of utmost importance. Without communication, relationships are doomed to fail.

After an affair, communication becomes even more important.

Almost all of my clients who have been betrayed have the desire to understand the "how" and "why" of the affair.

"How did you meet? Where did you meet? Why did you meet? How long have I been lied to? Did you laugh about me while you did this? Will this happen again? How will things be different this time?"

In many cases, the person who had the affair isn’t willing — or able — to answer those questions.

Often, affairs just happen. They literally sneak up on the two people, and before you know it, a relationship has been betrayed. When this happens, it's hard to answer the "why."

Also, people who have affairs often feel so guilty and ashamed, that they don’t want to talk about it. They know they've let down and betrayed their partner, and they are mortified.

No matter what the reason it might be difficult to talk about an affair or answer the questions that might come up, it's essential that both are done. Honesty and transparency are the keys to rebuilding a healthy relationship after infidelity.

So, make an effort to address each other's questions.

If it's difficult to do so, dig deep and try. If you can’t, it's important that you get the help of a therapist or a life coach who can help you draw out the answers.

3. Understand each other's feelings.

It is very important for both members of a relationship to understand and accept how the other is feeling.

The betrayed partner is full of questions, struggling with self-doubt, angry, sad, scared, lacking in confidence, and generally confused and overwhelmed by what has happened to their lives. 

The partner who strayed is often wracked with self-loathing, guilt, sadness, fear, confusion, and remorse. Both of these people’s feelings are real and need to be acknowledged and accepted.

People who have been betrayed often feel that their partner’s feelings aren’t warranted or relevant and push back against them. Betrayers often get angry with their partner for their intense feelings and want it to all go away.

By acknowledging and accepting each other’s emotions, each of the people will feel heard and seen, key parts of developing the building blocks for a healthy relationship after infidelity.

RELATED: 22 Ways Couples Can Survive Cheating (And Finally Heal From The Betrayal)

4. Enjoy each other's company.

This seems inconceivable right now, but when you're both ready, it's really important to make an effort to enjoy each other’s company.

There was a time when you were in love and you enjoyed doing many things together. These things connected you and helped make your love stronger.

I have a client who genuinely enjoys being with his partner, but still struggles with accepting the affair. Last time we talked, he told me very clearly that he and his wife were still good friends and that gave him hope that they could work through everything and reconnect.

So, if you feel like you authentically can, strive to do the things together that used to make you feel connected.

Picnics, trips to a bookstore, a musical event, or a hike — anything else that will make you both remember that once you liked each other and that there is hope that you will again.

5. Touch each other.

The idea of touching your partner after their betrayal seems equally inconceivable, but it's an essential part of building a healthy relationship. Touch is the thing that can keep couples together more than anything.

This doesn't necessarily mean sex, but the simple things — hand-holding, hugging, and brushing up against each other in the kitchen.

Make-up sex is a perfect example of this. After an argument, many couples like to have sex because the physical connection draws them back together. The sex connects them in a way that words cannot and helps settle the argument and the hard feelings left afterwards.

Again, you don't need to have sex with your person right away, but you should hug them at least. A 10-second hug every day can help you keep your relationship healthy and strong.

Infidelity rocks our world in a way that almost nothing else can. Believing that you can get past it and be happy again might seem impossible from where you sit now, but you can do it!

If you and your partner are both determined, able to communicate in a healthy way, acknowledge and accept the other’s feelings, seek out things that you enjoy doing together, and explore touching each other again, you have an excellent chance of having that healthy relationship that you seek.

Yes, it may seem hard right now, but you can do it!

RELATED: 7 Steps To Overcoming Marital Infidelity So You Can Finally Move On

Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based, certified life and love coach. Let her help you find, and keep, love in this crazy world in which we live. Email her at mitzi@letyourdreamsbegin.com and get started!

This article was originally published at Let Your Dreams Begin. Reprinted with permission from the author.